Student Aid Bill of Rights via @WhiteHouse — Best of the Left Activism

You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: the Student Aid Bill of Rights.

I’m running the risk of developing a reputation for being a White House shill, but it’s hard to disagree that second half of second term Obama is, indeed, the best Obama. It’s not all sunshine and roses — he is cheerleading the TPP after all, but some of the policies he’s dishing out are downright progressive. Enacting a Student Aid Bill of Rights is one of those policies.

In his weekly address this past Saturday, President Obama unveiled a long-overdue proposal that builds on his State of the Union promise to provide two years of free community college to any American who wants to enroll and is accepted.

The Student Aid Bill of Rights states that every student in America should:

I. Have access to high-quality, affordable higher education.

II. Be able to easily find the resources they need to pay for college.

III. Be able to choose an affordable repayment play for student loans.

IV. Receive quality customer service, reliable information, and fair treatment when repaying loans.

It sounds simple — and it basically is. Currently, those who are able to go to college graduate with an average of $28,000 in debt; one in ten students graduates with more than $40,000; and “elite” degrees in law and medicine can cost upwards of $150,000 — if you don’t include undergrad. With federal student loans passing the $1 trillion mark — not to mention the private loans taken out by students and families, the debt our young people are saddled with before entering the work force is, as Forbes.com puts it, “crippling” the economy.

Visit WhiteHouse.gov/CollegeOpportunity and add your name to the Presidential Memorandum, then use ContactingTheCongress.org to call, email, and tweet with the hashtag #CollegeOpportunity to let your representatives know you expect them to get behind this plan and take steps to enshrining the right to quality, affordable education into law.

While you’re at it, let your state representatives know you expect them to implement the President’s plan for free community college. Even though it would be at no cost to the states, we’ve seen republican, split, and even some democratic state houses reject free federal money during this administration which means they need to hear from you.

As long as the republicans control Congress, debt forgiveness is off the table. Let’s do what we can now to push the conversation to the left and keep student debt in the news and the forefront of the public consciousness so that during the primaries and 2016 presidential run, the ground work will be laid to make a trillion dollar infusion into the economy an obvious, politically viable plan.

TAKE ACTION:

Add your name: Student Aid Bill of Rights

Let your reps know you support the plan through ContactingTheCongress.org where you can call, email, and tweet at your representatives using the hashtag #CollegeOpportunity.

Additional Activism/Resources:

Reminder that the states have to agree to implement the president’s community college plan. Even though it would be at no cost to the states, we’ve seen republican (and even some democratic) and split state houses reject free federal money during this administration. Let your state and congressional representatives know you back a plan to make community college available to everyone who wants to attend.

Sources/further reading:

Press Release: “A Student Aid Bill of Rights”

“Your Weekly Address: A Student Aid Bill of Rights”

"5 Reasons Not to Get a Law Degree” via CBS News

"How The $1.2 Trillion College Debt Crisis Is Crippling Students, Parents And The Economy” by Chris Denhart at Forbes.com

"The President Proposes to Make Community College Free for Responsible Students for 2 Years”

Watch POTUS video on two free years of community college: The President Proposes to Make Community College Free for Responsible Students for Two Years

"FACT SHEET - White House Unveils America’s College Promise Proposal: Tuition-Free Community College for Responsible Students”

Hear the segment in context:

Episode #906 "Crushing our potential with student debt (Education)"

Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich


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